Four years ago, I started keeping a running tally of the best recent movies on Netlfix. At the time, it wasn’t easy to narrow down the best theatrical movies from the previous two years to 25 films. Now, I’ve had to expand “recent” to mean the last four years, and even still, it’s hard to keep the list stocked with enough solid recommendations.
Netflix has a movie problem. They spend so much on original programming and the licensing rights to other bingeable series that their movie selection has run thin. Very thin. There are now entire months where nothing new worthy of inclusion on that list comes available, while the streaming service continues to shed other worthy movie titles.
At least Netflix has acknowledged the issue. In a brief ad, they are promoting the expansion of their movie selection over the summer now that their deal with Disney is coming to fruition. Does it mean Star Wars and The Lion King?
No, not yet. Netflix will be adding a couple of great Oscar winners/nominees from last year in The Big Short and Spotlight, and they have The Sandlot streaming now, in addition to The Minions (which is a mixed blessing for parents), but it’s not exactly the streaming version of Blockbuster rental yet.
I suspect that Netflix — which already has a crushing summer TV schedule lined up — will not ever be the streaming movie giant that it once was. Spotlight and The Big Short may stick around for three or four months, but they will probably be replaced by one or two other “big” movies that Netflix will peg their movie offerings on in the fall, as they rotate recognizable movies on and off the service.